Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who has been updating people every day on the flood situation in the state, announced on Sunday that the next important step is rehabilitation and reconstruction of the state. Speaking to reporters, he said, “One phase of the disaster is about to come to an end now. We still have a long way to go to bring life back to normal in the state and the government has the responsibility to do it.”
Outlining the course of action to be followed after the massive relief and rescue operations come to an end in Kerala, he said that first priority will be to maintain sanitation and to prevent the spreading of diseases.
“Serious problem is the sanitation/hygiene problem due to water logging. The sludge will remain even after water recedes from homes. The threat of communicable diseases is also very high. The residue and stagnant water in and around villages must be removed.The government welcomes those who want to take part in this activity. Sprinkling bleaching powder and cleaning must be done based on the instructions of the health inspector. All the agencies responsible for this must join together,” he said.
He added that six health inspectors will be appointed for each village panchayat who will oversee the activities to restore the sanitation in the state. He also said that the government will put a protocol in place for the safe disposal of waste.
The Chief Minister also said that steps will be taken on a war-footing to restore electricity in flood affected areas and make clean water available in those areas.
“People lead a different life in camps as compared to their homes and hence are more prone to diseases. There is a need for proper intervention in such cases. Primary aim is to prevent diseases. People who require treatment for diseases will be given that. We have made arrangements for that. The government hopes to add private hospitals to provide treatment to those who have taken ill due to the floods. People who need special medical care like insulin and dialysis will be shifted to hospitals immediately,” he said.
The CM said that the railway employees are doing a commendable job in bringing the transport system back to normal and that KSRTC has also promised to resume its full operations soon.
He also said that of the 221 bridges that were damaged in the floods, 59 are still under water.
“The documents, school books that were destroyed in rains will be restored. We will provide new school books for all the students who have lost it to the rains. We have printed 34 lakhs books and have asked the education department to help get the books to the students. Steps will be taken to provide uniforms also to the students,” he said.
Pinarayi Vijayan also expressed his heartfelt thanks to all those who had helped Kerala to tackle the disaster and urged people to donate directly to the CM’s disaster relief fund and to be wary of frauds.
“The Central govt has helped us in many ways. The Prime Minister and the government understood our situation and were ready to provide us with any help required to get over this disaster. The state government expresses its gratitude for that,” he said.
He also requested the media to help the government convey that cleanliness and health is of topmost priority to the masses.
“The efforts to rehabilitate all those who had been displaced is a mammoth task and we request all of you to cooperate. People who send materials must send items that are in need here. It is better to know beforehand as to what is demanded here before sending anything,” he said.
Stating that Kerala has been a role model in a lot of good things, he said that rebuilding the state must also be done successfully and the government will be take responsibility for that.